Mississippi Power hosts girls engineering event

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - "At Mississippi Power, we are big proponents of diversity and we needed diversity in our workforce, so we saw a need in the community to get girls introduced into engineering because they have the skills," said Kate Szkolnik, EMS support engineer.

Mississippi Power in conjunction with NASA hosted the first ICAN Girls in Engineering camp on Wednesday. Women engineers spoke to 9th graders from Hattiesburg High School about how engineering is not just a man's job.

"They're creative and they're problem solvers and they're analytical but all these things that are geared towards girls don't necessarily encourage those math and science fields all the time," said Szkolnik.

The girls spent the day building projects from toy cars to engineering a real high heel shoe. One 9th grader said Wednesday's program opened her eyes to a whole new world.

"Before I came here, I never really considered engineering. ALot of times, I never even realized it was there," said Kallia Cooper, HHS student. "Now that I see the different opportunities that I have in engineering, a lot more of what it entails, it does pique my interest."

Cooper added that al thought a small number of women work in the engineering field, she hoped more girls learn about the world of opportunities it has to offer.

"So far, from what I have experienced engineering is alot of fun and it can be feminine, um, type of career if you want it to be," said Szkolnik. "It's really alot more of which part of engineering you want to do what you feel you can benefit from it."